Buying Books Without Money

Just yesterday multiple commenters said that they’d read or understand why people read in bookstores because not everyone can afford to buy new books. Well today I discovered that there’s actually a way for people to buy books without any money.

1010 Ways to Buy Without Money is a project that started in 2011 in Spain that has now spread to most regions of the world. The basic premise is that stalls at the events will be ‘selling’ books for a variety of prices set by organizers or by the donors of the books. And none of the prices I’ve read about are outrageous or embarrassing.

For example, one might be asked to eat all your food in exchange for a children’s book. Or someone might be asked to leave positive messages inside books. Or to donate your time to a charity. See, the thing is that the system essentially operates on a promise. The buyer can’t do everything right then and there at the stall, but they know the price of the book and are asked to send photos at a later date of them fulfilling their promise. And there are so many different ‘prices’ for books at these events that it makes buying a new book all the more exciting. Organizing a picnic for at least five kids. Taking snacks to work for your colleagues. Putting flowers on your balcony. Spending a day on your own. All of these things have been the price to buy a new book without spending any money at all. And I think everything about this is great.

The only downside I’ve found when reading about these events (that are about to start happening in the coming weeks) is that they haven’t caught on as much in the United States. There are smaller events held, but I’d like to see something in Houston or New York City or LA on a grand scale that is unmatched by any other place in the world. And maybe that will happen at some point, but for now I’ll just stick to reading about these great events from afar.

What do you think? Like the idea of buying books without having to spend any money?

You can visit the initiative’s website here to see more ways people are asked to buy books without money.


 

On this day in 2014 I published The Lack of Diversity in my Reading.

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Do you Ever Read in the Bookstore?

Y’all are well aware of the fact that I don’t even step foot inside bookstores. I see no reason to. Unless some crazy person decides to buy me a gift card. Hehe. Anyway, but I can think of those long ago days in which I did buy books from my local Barnes and Noble and tell you with absolute certainty that I never read in the bookstore. I feel like that’s stealing. You could sit there and read for as long as you want and no one would even say anything.

I’m sure I’m in the minority here, but there’s nothing more annoying than knowing exactly where the book I’m looking for is located and there’s a person sitting there in the way reading. THIS ISN’T YOUR HOUSE. I mostly fault the bookstore for allowing this to happen. WiFi. Coffee. Lounge chairs. It’s too much. People are confused and think those things are there to be used. Nuh uh. Just get your books and get out of my way! (mostly kidding)

But really, don’t most books have samples on Amazon? Wouldn’t it be easier to just read those from anywhere rather than blocking me from getting my book because you have to be sitting on the floor with your nose in the book you haven’t yet bought? I think yes.

Now you know that I’ve never read in a bookstore, but have you?


On this day in 2014 I published The Faces of my Characters. If you’ve read my book, then take a look at this post! You get to see the real people I wrote about!

 

Burning Books

Over the course of human history several groups have made the choice to burn books. And I think ISIS has now done the same. I’m just wondering why this happens.

I understand that during the days before electricity burning books would have been a surefire way to stop people from gaining knowledge. Imagine a town with one central library that was burned to the ground. Would the people just stop learning? No. But not having any books would make it a bit more difficult. But now we’re living in a very different age. We have the internet. We have all kinds of books in the public domain. We can gather information from so many different sources that it really makes no sense to burn books (not that it ever did).

I guess I can see it as an intimidation tactic to demonstrate that nothing is out of your reach, but burning books doesn’t really sway any opinions. Just like burning businesses, historical landmarks, or homes does nothing to change the opinions of people. With the technology that we have today (even in lesser developed countries) books can never really be burned. Printed books can be destroyed, but the information, stories, and everything that lies within the pages of a book cannot be taken away.


On this day in 2014 I published Letter From Character to Author.

 

Writers on Twitter

Rant incoming.

Okay. I’m pretty active on Twitter. I’d say I tweet maybe 10-15 times a day. On the weekends that number probably cuts in half because I’m sleepy. My tweets are literally about anything that pops into my head. A movie quote. Something my dog does. An interaction with a co-worker. A text conversation I’ve had. Anything. I’ll tweet about it. What I very, very rarely do is tweet about books, writing, reading or any of the things I discuss on here. Why? Because that’s what this blog is for. I only wish others felt the same way.

I follow a few bloggers on Twitter. Probably less than 15. And I’ve followed many more than that during my time on the site, but I’ve unfollowed almost every one of them. Why? Because for some reason writers feel the need to tell everyone exactly how much they’ve written several times a day. And then those same people also feel the need to let everyone know the precise moment they sit down to read. It’s like they’re trying to live up to this persona that their entire lives are full of books even though they’re working a full-time job in an industry that has nothing to do with books or publishing or anything writing-related.

I have no issue with people tweeting about their writing every now and then, but is there really a reason to use #amwriting in ten straight tweets? WE GET IT. YOU’RE ON TWITTER PRETENDING TO BE WRITING. No one gives a shit.

I know what you’re thinking by this point. You’re thinking that I should just unfollow these people and be done with it. Yep, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I’m unfollowing other bloggers on Twitter as soon as this post publishes. Cause I’d prefer to read pointless tweets from people I know personally and from celebrities I follow, but not from bloggers I don’t hardly know at all. If I want to read about your writing or reading, then I’ll gladly do so on WordPress.

I guess the point of this post is to say that you shouldn’t follow me on Twitter because I don’t follow back unless you’re in a group of maybe three bloggers. I wonder how often James Patterson tweets using #amwriting. Oh wait, that’s just ridiculous.


On this day in 2014 I published Not Your Typical Easter Post.

 

Italicizing Book Titles, or Should you?

I do. And I have done so for some time now. But it isn’t universal. It really depends on your personal preference and the style guide you learned from.

In college and I think also in high school I was taught MLA style. And they have you italicize book titles. But the AP Stylebook would have you place quotation marks around book titles in your writing. To me, italics are just easier to read and less confusing. When I come across quotation marks in written text I’m immediately thinking that I’m about to read some dialogue. Maybe that’s just me? No idea. I think you can also underline book titles if you want? But I believe the practice has been largely replaced by italicizing.

There may not be only one way to identify book titles in written text, but there is one thing that you shouldn’t do. You shouldn’t just write the title as if it were any other group of words without properly identifying it in some way. Why? Because how is your reader, whomever it may be, supposed to know that they’re reading the title of a book if the text looks no different from the rest?

The message is that italics, quotation marks, and underlines really don’t matter as long as you use one.

PS: I’m leaving on my trip I announced a little while back this week! I’d said I wouldn’t be blogging, but maybe I’ll post quick 100-125 word posts during my travels. I think.

What to do When the Lights go out

I know many people seem to think that it rains a lot where they live, but let me tell every single one of you that you’re probably wrong unless you live in one of a handful of cities. Houston is one of those cities.

It’s rained each of the last ten days (or nine?) and yesterday was the worst storm in at least two years that I can remember. My car was parked in the street and when I went out to move it the water was almost up to my knees. But not quite inside the car yet. Thankfully, it’s brand new with less than 5000 miles on it. Anyway, as a result of the heavy rainfall, which is also expected tonight, the power went out. And stayed out. Which left me with a dead phone and wet clothes with nothing to do.

I should have read by candlelight! But I didn’t. I just sat on the sofa until about 11:00 and then fell asleep earlier than I have in months. No reading. Or anything. I had an alarm to wake up to because I happened to charge my iPod a few days ago for no reason. Go, me.

Anyway, I wish I’d have thought to read a little last night. Just because there was nothing better to do in the darkness. What do you do when the power goes out?

PS: Sorry for the late post! I had no power! But I’ve posted everyday since January 18, I refuse to let the streak end because of a stupid thunderstorm.


On this day in 2014 I published Where the Magic Happens.

 

Should Individual States Have a State Book?

If your state is the same as Texas, then you likely have various “___ of the state”. Like the state flower or the state motto or whatever it may be. My question to you is if you think states should have a state book?

My answer is sure. So long as the state book isn’t the Bible or some crap. I’m sure it’d be pretty easy to find an important book, fiction or not, set or about the state that would more qualify to be the state book of any state. For example, I could easily see To Kill a Mockingbird as the state book of Alabama. And if you go state by state you could easily find books for all 50 states.

An issue arises when lawmakers try to make a game of the whole thing. If the goal is to declare a book as the state book, then do it. If the goal is to draw attention to the state because it’s making a mockery of the process, then there really is no point.

What do you think? Should states have a state book? What do you think of states perhaps trying to name religious texts as the state book?


On this day in 2014 I published Deciding What to read Next.